Admittedly, it’s not often that I go to Bloemfontein. Usually, I’m either passing through or I’ve stopped there for work. Bloem is not often considered a final destination, but after discovering Liedjiesbos, and a few other awesome spots in the City of Roses, I don’t think it would hurt if I spent a little more time there in the future.
Liedjiesbos Guesthouse, which translates roughly from Afrikaans to something that involves a song and a bush, is set a little bit outside of the city’s centre and not far from the airport. It’s been featured in a whole bunch of magazines too, mostly because it really is just such the exception to the norm when it comes to bed and breakfasts. When you walk in, you really feel like you’ve jumped into an alternate universe in comparison to the surroundings driving up to the front gate.
The interior decor, and even the exterior decor, are just a miss mash of stuff from the past and present. It really appeals to my inner eclectic while disturbing my usual OCD-self in the most charming way. Owners Henning du Bruin and Dawie Human have literally built this place from the ground up. The original building was a barn for lack of a better description. They’ve come a long way since then, ensuring that every step of their build and even their day-to-day operations are friendly to the environment.
When I asked Henning about what they do to make sure they’re a best of friends with their surrounds, he modestly said that a lot of the things they do have become second nature and they do them now without trying. Perhaps that’s true, but they’re still doing a great amount to make sure that they first do no harm, a lot more in fact than most guesthouses that I know.
The gardens have been carefully planned out, showing off the quirky sculptures and fixtures while still allowing for private spaces that guests can enjoy. Being planted with 100% indigenous flora makes visits from insects, birds, frogs and small animals a natural sighting here. The team also take unwanted garden refuse like branches off the hands of gardening services in the area to run through their chipper and create mulch. According to Henning, this decreases the amount of water they use in their garden and helps create an organic fertiliser for the plants.
The rooms are absolute gems in addition to the gorgeous gardens. Each one has been decorated individually and created through making odd spaces throughout the original barn work in their favour. A mix of large comfy beds, antique furniture and rustic farm-style pieces make the rooms strangely familiar and homey. All of the furniture is second-hand and is upcycled, another initiative to be environmentally-friendly.
Meals at Liedjiesbos are always a celebration says Henning of the slow food culture the guesthouse has adopted. I only ate breakfast here (which was incredibly generous in addition to being perfectly delicious), but Henning told me about the meals prepared for dinner and I think I’m willing to travel back just for those!
I could keep writing about this place all day, but for the sake of my readers, here is a list of awesome things about Liedjiesbos:
- Homemade preserves and jams are sold in the main lounge area. Leave these behind at your peril.
- Meringues and port are left in each room for the evening. Much better than a chocolate on your pillow right?
- There is free, fast WiFi available at Liedjiesbos, just ask for the password
- Make sure to book in advance for dinner, we didn’t and missed out!
- There are only five rooms at Liedjiesbos, so you better book in advance!
For more information on this magical place, visit liedjiesbos.co.za.